Tuesday, November 02, 2010
It's a Book
It's a Book by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook, 2010
(review copy provided by the publisher)
Lane Smith's irreverent and smart tribute to the traditional book is making little waves in the school library world. Travis Jonker at 100 Scope Notes has a splendid summary of the different blogs and discussions as well as his own feelings about the book as a read-aloud.
Smith' characters are a mouse, a monkey and a jackass. Jackass has a laptop and Monkey has a book. Jackass wonders that Monkey's book does not scroll, tweet, text, blog, make sounds or need recharging. He does discover it is is full of adventure and story.
The end of the book sees the Monkey again explaining, as he has all through the story, "It's a book," but he directs his comment, using the name, "Jackass." His use of the word has the meaning of the character's name and species but also implies the insult. When someone scares me silly by almost taking off the front end of my car as they change lanes on my local interstate, I don't call them a "donkey."
No word goes un-measured, un-pondered or un-dissected in a picture book so we KNOW there was a discussion about this word choice. My thought is that one intended audience for the book is adults who are making the purchasing decisions of Kindle vs Nook vs eReader.
I probably will not use it as a read-aloud in a school library setting because I do not want to die on THAT hill. I CAN imagine kids, especially older ones having a lovely chuckle over the impertinent ending when they discover it on the shelf.
I also can't wait to share it with my grown-up book club.